Kathleen Folbigg has spoken publicly for the first time since her release.
The pardoned child killer was released from Grafton Prison in northern NSW on Monday after an inquiry found reasonable doubt about her guilt following her 2003 conviction for the deaths of her four children.
Sarah, Caleb, Laura, and Patrick Folbigg all died in infancy between 1989 and 1999.
Sentenced to 30 years in prison in 2003 and ineligible for another five years, Ms Folbigg has always maintained her innocence.
She released a short video message on Tuesday after enjoying her first night of freedom in 20 years at her best friend and biggest supporter Tracy Chapman’s farm on the North Coast of NSW.
The video shows a beaming Mrs. Folbigg enjoying her new-found freedom at her friend’s house, smelling a large bouquet of roses sent to her by a supporter upon her release from prison.
Pardoned child killer Kathleen Folbigg (pictured) enjoys her full day of freedom
‘Hello, this is Kathleen. I am extremely humbled and grateful to have been pardoned and released from prison,” Ms. Folbigg begins.
“My eternal gratitude goes out to my friends and family, especially Tracy and all her family, without whom I would not have survived this whole ordeal.”
“Today is a victory for science, and especially for truth.
“And for the past 20 years I’ve been in prison, I’ve always and always will think about my kids, mourn my kids, and miss them and love them terribly.”
Ms Folbigg’s convictions must be overturned by the Court of Criminal Appeal before any damages can be explored.
Figures as low as $1 million to $20 million have already been speculated in the media.
Her legal team said it’s too early to talk about compensation, but wouldn’t rule it out.
“We haven’t spoken to her about this. She tries very hard to concentrate on taking one step at a time and not doing things in a hurry, because she has just been waiting to feel the grass under her feet, look at the sky and look at it for the first time in 20 years. watch the sunrise,” her attorney Rhanee Rego told reporters on Tuesday.
“Kathleen is still having a cup of tea, getting acquainted with normal life, and we’re just getting used to not talking to her in a prison about an AVL call.
‘We are taking it step by step, but in the near future we will certainly think about all the options available to her.
“We won’t rush her or force her to do anything. She doesn’t have to do it until she’s ready.’
A beaming Kathleen Folbigg (pictured) released a video statement thanking her supporters
Tracy Chapman spoke to the media on Tuesday after her boyfriend’s release from prison
Once her convictions are overturned, Ms. Folbigg can decide whether to take civil action against the state or accept an ex gratia payment.
“Not only has she lost one child, she has lost four and has been in prison for 20 years,” Ms Rego said.
“The system has let her down every step of the way.
“Instead of trying to understand why her children died, possibly through an inquest…we threw her in jail, locked her up and labeled her Australia’s worst female serial killer.”
Ms Chapman shared candid details about her boyfriend’s first night of freedom and how she was ‘baffled’ by the latest technology.
Mrs. Folbigg spent the first 24 hours on her friend’s farm getting to know the animals and was just happy to be able to sleep ‘properly’ for the first time in 20 years.
“She slept in a real bed for the first time, had a cup of tea in a real china cup, real spoons to stir with,” Ms Chapman told reporters.
“That sounds basic to all of you, but she’s grateful. Good tea, real milk.’
Kathleen Folbigg (right) has enjoyed an emotional reunion with boyfriend Tracy Chapman (left)
Folbigg was also convicted of the murder of her son Patrick (pictured left) and the death by manslaughter of her firstborn son Caleb (pictured right)
Mrs. Folbigg had one special request.
She asked for a Kahlua and Coke. It was a flashback to the past 20 years,” Ms Chapman laughed
However, there was no time to cook the dinner of T-bone steak that Mrs. Folbigg had dreamed of for years in prison.
Instead, the party of about 12 settled for pizza, as an iPhone and television confused Ms. Folbigg.
“Even the television, she said ‘Oh my God, look at the television, it has so many possibilities’, so she could go ‘Oh my God, I can watch so much,'” Ms Chapman said
“We were explaining that you can actually watch all those TV shows and you don’t have to sit there at 7:30 and watch a show. She was like ‘This is great.’
She was given 40 minutes’ notice to prepare for Mrs. Folbigg’s arrival on Monday as she reflected on the chaotic day.
“I kind of knew she’d be out the door, and then she’d be there in 40 minutes, so to go from 20 years to the happening… I was kind of cursing because I just said, ‘this isn’t how it hears happen,’ said Mrs. Chapman.
“None of us could really believe it… it was all a bit unreal yesterday,” Ms Chapman told reporters on Tuesday morning.
“She is so grateful to be surrounded by her friends and family and her beloved legal team.
“We’re so thankful she’s here. She actually said to me this morning, ‘My facial muscles hurt from laughing.’
Folbigg was convicted of the murders of Sarah (left) and Laura (pictured right) along with her two sons, but scientists later said Folbigg should be pardoned as the two girls’ deaths could be explained by genetics
KATHLEEN FOLBIGG: TIMELINE OF A KILLER
June 14, 1967 – Kathleen Folbigg is born.
January 8, 1969 – Folbigg’s father, Thomas John Britton, killed her mother by stabbing her 24 times. Folbigg became a ward of the state and placed in foster homes.
1982 – Folbigg left school at the age of 18.
1987 – Folbigg married Craig Folbigg.
February 1, 1989 – Caleb Folbigg is born.
February 20, 1989 – Folbigg had Caleb sleep in a room off her bedroom. She later found him dead in his bed.
June 3, 1990 – Patrick Folbigg is born.
October 18, 1990 – Kathleen Folbigg put Patrick to bed before Craig was awakened by his wife’s screams. Patrick was taken to hospital and diagnosed with epilepsy and blindness.
February 18, 1991 – Folbigg called her husband at work to tell him Patrick had died and said, “It’s happened again!”
October 14, 1992 – Sarah Folbigg is born.
August 29, 1993 – Sarah passed away.
1996 – The Folbiggs move from Maitland, New South Wales to Singleton in the Hunter region.
August 7, 1997 – Laura Folbigg was born.
February 27, 1999 – Laura passed away.
May 21, 2003 – Kathleen Folbigg was found guilty of murder and manslaughter and later sentenced to 40 years in prison.
February 17, 2005 – The court reduces her sentence to 30 years with a non-parole period of 25 years.
August 22, 2018 – NSW Attorney General Mark Speakman announced that there would be an investigation into Folbigg’s convictions.
April 29, 2019 – The investigation begins in Lidcombe, Sydney.